Tag Archives: Dandenongs

Kallista (Sherbrooke) Loop walk

Quicknotes and Map of our holiday Monday walk (June 9th 2014). It’s the spontaneous ones that often work out the best. And this was a prime example.

Here’s a map, using OziExplorer with the Open Street Maps (aka “Internet Maps”).   Red outbound, left then clockwise. Blue back to the car, with the dotted line an alternate route back. Click for full size

Screenshot - 11_06_2014 , 6_29_59 PM


1) Start/Finish. The tiny village of Kallista  (coffee!, cake!).  Walk down the hill on the track, past the school to…

2) Grants Picnic Ground.  See the bird feeding, visit the tourist shop and cafe (coffee! et al). Then cross the road, thru the gate and pick up Clematis Track.

Follow this, down and up.  It comes out at the Sherbrooke Lodge Road – turn left (grassy on LHS, walk on that). Continue ‘left’ (west, then north).   You’ll soon come to the entrance to:

3) O’Donohue Picnic Ground.  Lunch/snack here. Toilets.  Then out the ‘back gate’ onto O’Donohue Track. Soon you’ll come to a T-Intersection. Turn right.

After a very short distance you’ll come to another T-Intersection (Sherbrooke Track). Turn left.

Follow Sherbrooke Track through the bush until Wattle Track leads off to your right (over a moss-covered bridge).Take Wattle and cross the bridge

Follow Wattle (approx North) until you come to the main Sherbrooke Road.  Stay on your side of the road and walk a short distance right (east) until you come to the Alfred Nicholas Gardens car park. Cross the road here into…

4) The Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens.  Definitely explore these lovely gardens, built right into a quite steep hill. Descend to a magic quiet spot with an ornamental lake and old boat shed (a must see!)

Climb back out to the entrance gates you entered by. Head left (south east) along Sherbrooke Rd.  You cannot actually follow this all the way to Kallista (too steep/dangerous with no footpath near end) So turn into Braeside Avenue and keep left. You’ll soon see a track entrance which ‘tracks’ beside Sherbrooke rd and soon rejoins it, just near Kallista.  A few mins later you are back where you started.


Alternate return (blue dash). If you want to re-do the ‘up-down’ (muddy?!) tracks, you can go through the “Sherbrook Picnic Ground” car park, pick up Sherbrook Track and turn left onto O’Dononhue Track (you’ve been at this point earlier!), back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and retrace your steps (red line) back to Kallista

Approximate Times

  • Car to Alfred Nicholas Gardens: about 1 hr .   4km  (main red route above). Plus we stopped for lunch at the O’Donahue Picnic Ground. Not counted in 1 hour
  • About 30-40 mins to explore Gardens
  • Gardens to Car. Only ~ 30 mins, via Sherbrooke Road (main blue route on map)


Click to enlarge.


Only a few minutes from the start/car.  Clematis Track




The ornamental lake, down the hill,  at Alfred Nicholas Memorial Gardens



The old boatshed on the lake

Dandenongs Track Comparison


A quick post which took ages to prepare (the graph bit; just couldn’t get Excel to do it. In the end got it to do most of it, the printed that and did rest by hand!)

Some estimates of a few of the more steep walking tracks in the Dandenongs:

Name Length (m) Height Gain(m) Gradient (h/l) * 100
Bills Track 260 112 43%
Rankin Tk 585 114 19%
1000 Steps 1900 316 17%
Glasgow Tk 1140 367 32%

It seems that 1000 Steps is the ‘most gentle’ at least in terms of average Gradient. But it’s the longest.  I’d suggest that Glasgow is the most difficult (long and steep) and Bills the second most (shortish but very steep).  I did Rankin and Bills yesterday. Both will make you puff.

Here’s the graphs. Hopefully it makes sense. I did it with the same scale for both axes (approx.), so the slopes are realistic. Click on to get larger version:


Here they are on the one Google Earth screen. Closest = 1000 Steps (red), then Bills (green), Rankin (orange) and Glasgow (blue).  Height doubled for effect. Click on to enlarge:


Disclaimer: these are from GPS plots put into Google Earth. I’d estimated where the climbs started and ended.  1000 Steps doesn’t seem quite right to me, but will double check. 

Whilst Height Gain is unambiguous, I’m not so sure about Length.  Too much to go into here#, but I think the discrepancy is (hopefully) small and so my Length and Gradient values are about right.

# Can’t resist wondering? Well: Look at the 1000 Steps blue-triangle above. I think the GPS is saying the total length of the “1000 Steps” blue line should be the 1900m. I’ve plotted the ‘wrong’ value (1900m) In fact you’d need to do some high school trig to work out the ‘correct’ value to graph, being the actual length of the ‘opposite’ side of that blue line, viz. the X (horizontal) axis component of the triangle. Your ‘adjacent’ (316 m) would help with the maths. As I said, the different should hopefully be small.

Kallista (Sherbrooke) walk

Walk done Saturday Jan 12th 2013. Had planned to do Thousand Steps but it was packed out, due to an event.  About 9km in total (excluding exploring Alfred Nicholas Gardens)

Quick notes. Will try and upload a few photos later. Numbers are points on map

  1. Car at Kallista (or you could park at Grants Picnic Ground if it’s not too crowded)
    • (Basically walked in a clockwise direction)
    • Walk down to Grants  then over main road and (west) on Clematis Tk to Sherbrooke Lodge Rd
    • Left (west) along it to…
  2.  O’Donohue Picnic Ground (lunch)
    • Out back (west) gate. Few mins to Link track (not shown, it’s small). Right (North) onto it
    • Left (west) onto Sherbrooke Tk.  Cross bridge and onto Wattle Tk
    • Follow Wattle Tk until it hits made road. Turn right (east) and few mins will see…
  3. Alfred Nicholas Gardens entrance
    • Explore Gardens. They are fantastic. Allow about an hour. Return to front gate
    • At gate, facing car park (on other side of road) turn left (SE) and walk along Sherbrooke Rd to where Sherbrook Lodge Rd veers off. There’s a car park there. Out the back there’s a gate/track. Take it and it hooks up with Link Track in a short while. There’s signs there back to O’Donohue Picnic Ground and from there retrace your steps back to the car
    • Fullscreen capture 13012013 43050 PM

Click on map for full size. Same with images.


(above = Forest at Link Track)


Dense bush!

Why do you ask, 3 Tracks Climbing ?

<updated: all of Glasgow Track now shown, more accurate track lengths and updated both images>

Another great walk around the Doongalla area in the Dandenongs on Sunday. Took some very nice people, including some on their first climb up Bills Track. It was warm and sunny. I think it’s fair to say we were all, umm, refreshed at the top of this Track.

It goes straight up (a part of) Mt Dandenong. No zig zags to ease the gradient.

I was telling the walkers about Glasgow Tk just up the road. Today in looking at the map, I remembered Rankin Tk between Billls and Glasgow. All 3 are No Zig Zag tracks  And what about the relative lengths?  Bit of fun with Oziexplorer and Google Earth shows me:

Track Approx Length (m)
Bills (the bit we did) 220
Rankin 410
Glasgow 870

Here’s a map (thanks to OSM), should be able to click on to engorge:


And here’s the fun one. Google Earth showing them. With the height of the mountains exaggerated. From right to left: Bills, Rankin and Glasgow. Click for biggus pickus.


I actually want to do Glasgow end to end soon. Car at Glasgow road, straight up, then maybe a rest Smile and down the more gentle Zig Zag and Ch 10 tracks and back to car.

Mt Dandenong: Kyeema to Doongalla

This is a great walk. It’s part of a much longer one, but I think this is by far the best part. In summary, you start up the top of Mt Dandenong, walk along a summit track, see wonderful views of Melbourne and the suburbs, then descend down to the (site of) Doongalla Homestead. This is now a picnic ground with BBQs and toilets, all in the middle of the bush.   Take water and food.

It’s all on the standard Melways, map 66.  Go and get it now. Seriously!

Start. Park the car near the Kyeema Memorial. This little road at 66-E1 isn’t named, but some versions show it with the text "substation".

Head Left on Kyeema Track (south-west).

Great views at Burkes Lookout (66-D2). There’s a large metallic frame here, which we call the Metal Bed. No idea what it is.

Keep going on Kyeema Track and you’ll see the large Channel 10 TV tower. Just before the tower itself, there’s an obvious track off to your Right.  This is un-named; i.e. there is no sign. Take this track.  It skirts around the base of the tower’s fence then starts to zig-zag down the mountain.  On the maps this is shown as “Channel 10 Track” (66-D3)

Pretty soon it ‘stops’ at a T-Intersection.  Just to confuse you,  the sign clearly says you have just descended “Zig Zag Track”. Ah well, must be an older name.  Off to the Left, at the T-intersection , is “Channel 10 Track” (signed).  Take this.  Dalcite Track is off to the Right (ignore this)

The bush now changes quite quickly in a few minutes. It goes from dry forest to almost rain forest!  Hello ferns. Pretty soon you hit a multi-track intersection. (66-E4). Just keep going down hill, that is, turn Right.  Sadly the signs have been broken here. 

Descend this track, still called Channel 10 track, and it’s not long before you see water tanks, then a car park (right) and toilets (left) and you are at Doongalla. The Track becomes a road, does a turn and there’s the lovely Doongalla Homestead Site, with it’s BBQs and tables (66-D5).  From the stone steps, near the umbrella-shaped tree, you can see the Ch 10 tower way up there, through the trees.

Some of my photos of this whole area etc are at http://www.flickr.com/photos/artwill/sets/72157622345260203/

Explore here, then down the hill to the 2nd Picnic area, Stables Site (66-C5)

To get back to the car you have at least 3 fun options:

  1. Return same way: Simply turn around and go back the way you came
  2. Easy extra bit: Stables area  –> Stables Track –> right into Bills Track –> right into Camelia Track –> Doongalla (then as per 1.)
  3. Bit of a climb, but worth it:  start the same as 2. but at end of Bills Track, turn left along Camelia Track –> right into Rankin Track (66-C2). Rankin Tk is a bit of a climb. But not too bad. It stops at Dalcite Track, turn right into Dalcite Tk and soon you are back at the T-intersection, with the sign pointing to Zig-Zag Track. Up Zig-Zag tk and retrace your original descent. 

Car to Doongalla should be under an hour, with photo-stops.  Bit longer to return as it’s up hill.

Mt Dandenong highlights walk – take 1 (steep shortcut)

Used some maps and planned a new, shorter version of the earlier Mt Dandenong walk.  Basically the best bits and hence the name.  Today was the day to walk it to see how it goes.

Had a great time.  However, it became pretty clear that my ‘shortcut’ back to the car (Glasgow Track – see below) was so steep that it really wouldn’t have been enjoyable had others been with me.   Here’s a Google Earth image, showing the walk. Note the height exaggerated by 2 for impact:

A) Car is here near Kyeema cairn (Melways 66 E-1)

(pink line)  Along the top and then a zig zag down to

B) Doongalla site (66 D-5), lunch/break then explore this great area and then along…

(aqua line) almost level along the front of the mountain until…

C) The Climb (red line). Straight up the front of Mt Dandenong on Glasgow Track. Wow. I’m told this is used by those preparing for Kokoda. (update: and here’s some further info on this)  Rocky, dirt, mud in places. No polite zig zags to ease the gradient.

To give you some idea, these are direct from the GPS and not exaggerated by 2:

Pink line 2.3 km long and descends 280 metres

Red line  0.5 km (500 m) long and ascends 200 metres.

If you look you can see that Glasgow Tk continues down the mountain; seems to merge with Glasgow Road. And yes, I missed it whilst on the aqua line bit. It has no signs and is only about 1 metre wide or less.  I had a map and was able to loop back and pick it up at point C.

Mmm. Need to think more about how to get back from Doongalla to the car. Maybe just double back.

Anyway here’s the Google Earth file to explore in 3D.

<Oct 4th 2009>

Mt Dandenong – Doongala

Ended up being a great walk today. Didn’t start out the best – think the instructions and/or map were quite old. But recovered to be just excellent.  Images – including 3D Google Earth view and Google Map links at end.

In summary:

  • Start at Kalorama village, leave car
  • Walk along ‘front’ of Mt Dandenong, but on tracks. Heading about S-W
  • Visit the main Mt Dandenong summit area, including the cafe if you want
  • Along the ‘front’ further to visit the cairn at the site of the 1938 “Kyeema” plane crash.
  • Zig-zag down a track as the bush closes in and becomes more rain-forest in nature
  • Pop out at the lovely Doongala homestead site (now a small park area with BBQs etc).  Even though you are close to suburbia, the view from here implies you are in the middle of the bush. See photo (link below)
  • Make your way back along the ‘front’ but now the other way (N-E) towards Kalorama and lower down on the mountain.
  • A final climb (bit of puff puff here) and you literally pop back out right near the car

About 18-20 km of walking, from memory.

Here’s a Google Map of the approximate route.

And a few photos up there at Flickr.

<July 24th 2009>